What is it to be vulnerable? I ask this question because after talking with my phone therapist, yes I have a phone therapist, we discussed vulnerability and what, when, and how it happens. Defined for what I am writing about: Vulnerability: capable of being physically or emotionally wounded. There are also four types of vulnerability: Physical, Social, Economic, Attitudinal.
This all comes up after a discussion about taking the next steps in a relationship. These steps really could be anything from a first kiss to moving into together or even marriage. No matter, taking any step in a relationship can result in a person feeling vulnerable to the situation. I guess there could be a difference between success and failure depending on one’s risk of feeling vulnerable. If you think back to any relationships, there has to be a trust involved to take any meaningful steps. My experience comes from dating for five years and not really knowing if anything, a next step to take.
So how does one overcome these feelings? I cannot tell if its because I am getting older that I feel more or less vulnerable. On one side I’ve always been a person to take a somewhat calculated risk on things in life. At times I feel that putting myself through any more feelings might not be worth the time or energy. Having those feelings in the past can be exciting and exhausting at the same time. On the other hand, I also have those feelings that time is running out and I want to have that “something” that we all hope to have in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great relationship now, but maybe its that sense of messing it up by taking anything further that makes one have that sense of being vulnerable?
So what to do? First I am figuring out that you have to feel vulnerable to feel anything. If you are not putting yourself out there, then maybe you are not putting everything out there….if that makes any sense? A relationship without feelings basically becomes having a roommate. I’ve been there done that, which resulted in a divorce. The positive is that it can open your eyes to maybe what you are really wanting or needing in the future. But of course, again, taking that step off a stair or even a cliff can feel like a long way down if things don’t work out in your favor. I guess that just might be a part of life in general because if you don’t feel then you might just not care. And going through life with a sense of not caring or loving could be a worse thing than feeling vulnerable.
The advice then I guess would be to figure out the risk over the reward of whatever you are feeling to make those future decisions. I have been on both ends of those feelings and even when they don’t feel good, at least I know that I personally did not make a decision based on fear of/or failure.
Whew…this was tougher to write then I thought!